December 03, 2011

COSME: future enterprise competitiveness programme

According to a Commission announcement on 30 November, the current enterprise aspects of the Competitiveness & Innovation Programme (CIP) are set to be largely replaced in 2014-2020 by COSME, ''the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs''. The main concern of this EUR2.5 billion support initiative will be with promoting easier access to business finance. This is to be provided through two forms of investment: an equity facility for growth-phase investment will give SMEs access to commercially-oriented reimbursable equity financing primarily in the form of venture capital through financial intermediaries, while a loan facility will provide SMEs with direct or other risk-sharing arrangements (again, through financial intermediaries) to cover loans. Until recently, this element was being tentatively referred to as the 'Business Competitiveness & SME Programme' (see September's Bulletin).

Additional aspects of COSME will revolve around improving access to EU and global markets (including continued support of the Enterprise Europe Network to facilitate business expansion abroad), and encouraging an entrepreneurial culture, including the creation of new firms. Its particular target audience will comprise established firms, in particular SMEs; entrepreneurs, particularly citizens who want to become self-employed yet face difficulties in setting up or developing their own business; and Member States' authorities, who will be better assisted in their efforts to elaborate and implement effective policy reform.

A strong emphasis is being placed on simplified procedures to enable small businesses to benefit from the financing.

Further details: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/11/852

Posted by iroronan at December 3, 2011 03:46 PM

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